I might do these periodically! The new “questions” feature on Instagram Stories makes it really easy for folks to ask me questions and it can remain anonymous. I recently did one and I got so many good and frequently asked questions, I thought I would post it here! If you have any questions that weren’t addressed here, feel free to leave a comment or email me!
New Year AMA (Ask Me Anything)
What medicine do you take for your Thyroid?
My specific issue is that my Reverse T3 is higher than my T3. My TSH and T4 levels are fine. What my doctor gave me was T3, only 5mg/ day. I am taking that, but also am taking steps to figure out the root cause of that imbalance. The goal is to remedy that root cause and not be on the T3 prescription long term. I am working with Dr. Becky Campbell, author of The 30 Day Thyroid Reset to figure this out. We’ve done a SIBO test and a Gut Map Stool Test, we are yet to go over the results.
What do I think about the celery juice craze that’s going on?
I think Anthony Williams, the Medical Medium has helped a lot of people. Whether it’s correlation or causation, I don’t know. I mean, anytime you get people eating unprocessed foods it’s going to help. But I don’t buy into magic pills, even in the form of celery juice. Could it help with some things? I mean, it can’t hurt. While I like my share of woo-woo things, from my understanding, he talks to dead people or spirits that tell him these healing things… I don’t know if I can get behind that.
Low budget here, need one good food processor with wicked power!
What’s a good coconut sub? My 4-year-old can’t have coconut but we need to stay AIP.t3.
For coconut milk, there aren’t many AIP options to sub, but you can make your own tiger nut milk. I don’t know what the consistency is like because I haven’t made it myself. In savory sauces, you can do a cauliflower cream or a base of steamed veggies blended with bone broth to thicken sauces or soups. As for coconut flour, tiger nut or cassava flour are your best bet.
What’s your go-to dish on a busy weekday?
How do you find motivation? I’m in the cycle of brain fog and exhaustion and can’t find the energy.
Start small. Try to sticks to simple meals and avoid your trigger foods. Sleep and take care of yourself as best as you can. Avoid sugar and over caffeinating to compensate for the fatigue. Energy will come eventually.
I would love to know more about what you’re studying right now?
I’m enrolled in the Nutritional Therapy Association’s Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Certification program. It’s a 9-month online course with 3 in person, 3-day workshops. It’s very comprehensive, the curriculum covers digestion, blood sugar regulation, hydration, mineral balance, fatty acids… we also learn about the evolution of the modern diet, how to do a functional evaluation and how to work with our clients to discover their bio individual nutritional needs and give proper dietary, lifestyle and sometimes supplement recommendations to help them.
How’s your NTA program going?
It’s going really well. I’m learning a lot and my prior experiences I the field play really well into the curriculum. I have a lot of new questions too. I am eager to connect all the dots! Luckily I know a lot of smart people that I can learn from and bounce ideas off of.
How much time per day do you dedicate to your NTP course?
I don’t do school work daily, but I a lot about 20 hours a week to it. Usually 3 days a week.
NTP vs NTC, I want to have an online presence but I want the in person functional training…
A lot of folks I know only do the NTC (nutritional therapy consultant), because yes, if you’re only doing online coaching you won’t be seeing clients in person- but I do want to see clients in person. Online too, but I really love the functional evaluation and that can only be done in real life. Either way, I think the information you learn in the program really arms you with so many resources to help anyone on their way to healing through food.
I need all the HS Tips!
Everyone is different, but from what I can see in the HS (Hidradenitis Suppurativa) circles, groups, threads and more… AIP (autoimmune protocol) and/or keto are most effective for people. Sugar in all forms and nightshades seem to be a VERY common trigger among us.
Find out your trigger foods and avoid them at all costs.
Use non-toxic mild soaps and comfortable, soft clothing.
Apply coconut oil mixed with a drop or two of tea tree or oil of oregano on the affected area (careful with oil of oregano- it’s strong and it may sting).
Is there an herb or supplement that helps HS scars heal faster?
If there is, I haven’t found it.
When will your second book release? In 2020! I’m so excited to start working on it!
What are you looking forward to most in 2019?
Graduating from my NTP program and turning in my second manuscript. Also, traveling! Finally taking a real vacation with Justin this year.
Lower GI Help: Cramping and Burning when I have a bowel movement, suggestions?
Find an NTP to work with! If you want to troubleshoot on your own I would do an elimination diet. Try keeping a food journal and see if you can find a correlation between cramps and painful bowel movements and food choices.
What deodorant do you use?
Primally Pure! All day, every day! I am obsessed. Code CASTAWAY10 for 10% off!
Must do list for Hawaii?
On Oahu: North Shore to see the sea turtles and the surfers and get some bulletproof coffee at the Sunrise Shack across from Sunset Beach. Must go to Kailua beach, get a kayak if you can and kayak to the Moke’s. Lanikai Pillbox hike, Koko Head Stairs, Tantalus, drive in the mountains, you can hike there too.
I know your big on ancestral health. Have you ever explored genetics (ie. MTHFR mutation)?
I did my 23 and Me with the genetics and my doctor has tested for all that stuff too. I don’t have the MTHFR.
I just want to say THANK YOU for the seriously amazing resources you put out!
What protein powder do you suggest?
Has your hair always been so thick and beautiful? Mine is just starting to grow back in.
I’ve always had a lot of hair, but it hasn’t always been healthy. I lost a lot of hair after my pregnancy, and when my autoimmune stuff flares bad my scalp gets very scaly. I had an allergic reaction to antibiotics once and lost a fistful of hair, a quarter-sized chunk came right out of my scalp, it was scary. But I truly believe that when nutrient deficiencies are addressed, leaky gut is healed and hormones are balanced…. Hair health will optimize.
Do you know the links between having carbs and our monthly cycles and having carbs during certain times of the month?
During your luteal phase, ovulation to day 1 of your cycle, we need around 200 more calories than usual, and often that comes in the form of cravings. The days the body can use more quick energy, like glucose, vs slow burning energy like ketones, are the days when our hormones are flatlined and as such, so is our energy. That is day 28 to day 1 or 2 of your cycle when hormones drop to begin your flow and then again day 16 to 19 depending on when you ovulate, but the post-ovulation hormone drop can also be brutal for energy.
If you are severely insulin resistant, having some carbs on these days for energy might be counterproductive, but for those who don’t get lethargic with safe carb consumption, it works well. I intuitively do this.
Fastest keto dinners that kids will love?
What bloggers/Instagrammers are influential to you?
Curious about your current stance on Whole30?
I think the program works for those who need hard and fast rules, black and white, to get out of a rut or as a reset or elimination diet, as it’s meant to be. I think it can get away from people, they don’t do proper reintroductions or adopt lifelong habits but instead fall into a cycle of using Whole30 to yo-yo. It was useful to me, and definitely a big part of my healing journey- but after 6 rounds I learned that separating food and emotion doesn’t work for me, also that it wasn’t dark chocolate or the occasional treat that drove my sugar dragon it was insulin resistance. So, I think the program helped me in the sense that I outgrew it, I think you’re supposed to eventually.
What are your best tips for amazing winter salads?
Ooooh! Good one! Seasonal produce! Citrus is a winter fruit. I love grilled orange segments or citrus dressings. I also like adding a warm component to my salads in the winter like warm grilled fish or steak, maybe some toasted nuts or roasted cauliflower rice.
How long did it take you to quit alcohol when you began changing your lifestyle?
It took almost a year to finally realize that wine or the occasional cocktail wasn’t worth it for me. Now, 2 years of pretty much no booze at all, I can have the occasional drink, but no more than 2 or 3 or again, not worth it.
I don’t track anymore, I am really, truly becoming more and more convinced that eating intuitively is the way to go. However, like the Whole30 question, I think that some people, at some point in their journey, need the structure or rules to figure it out. So…
I like to start with protein, at .5 to 1 gram per pound of body weight. Lower end if you’re not active, higher end if you are. That’s a goal. From there you add your carb limit. Somewhere between 30 to 50 grams of total carbs a day. So you have your protein goal, your carb limit, now the rest of your calories will come from fat. Add fat to your meals or choose fatty cuts of meat etc. Eat to satiety, or you can just aim for 100-150 gram of fat a day, that works for most people, from there adjust accordingly, less or more as you see fit.
How to “let it flow” emotionally (I keep hearing advice about saying in the flow)?
Don’t let people tell you how you should feel. I have no idea what “they” mean my “let it flow”…. But it implies something that happens organically, so, I don’t think you can force it. Repetition creates habit and habits can flow I guess… so maybe they mean, finding your groove or getting used to things. Everything in life takes practice, even a healthy lifestyle or positive thoughts.
How to get past SAD food addict relapse post-AIP, even when physical pain is caused.
Get back to the basics. Maybe the AIP triggered some disordered eating patterns. Try to focus on what makes you feel food and getting your mindset right. Forget guilt or shame around food choices or looking at foods as compliant or not compliant. Keep it simple. Pick foods you enjoy and that make you feel good, try eating in a relaxed state and be mindful of chewing slowly and being present with each meal. Check out my TLC Challenge!